I’ve wondered for YEARS why they can’t just make a protein bar taste like a freaking candy bar. How hard could it be, really? Then the other day I discovered Combat Crunch Protein Bars – and I knew my prayers had been answered.
Protein bars are notorious for tasting like crap. I’ve even ranted on the subject on this very site. But I think like protein bars are like cars – you have to test drive a lot of them before you find one that fits.
I have recently gotten turned on to Pure Protein bars – I can get them online, I can buy them at my local Costco, they taste okay, both my wife and I like them, they come in different flavors, and they’re affordable. There’s lots of reasons to love them. Perhaps I’ll even post a review someday!
However, I digress. A few days ago I was in my local supplement shop picking up some Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey to tide me over until my next mail-order shipment arrived. When I got to the checkout, the clerk informed me that if I spent another $5, I could get a free t-shirt with their current promotion. I mean, who doesn’t love a free t-shirt? I know I do.
I thought for a minute as to what I needed – I had enough protein powder, enough vitamins and other supplements, enough shaker bottles, and enough greens powder to last me a long time. Hmm. So I asked the clerk, “Got any good bars in stock?”
Oh Yeah, They’re THAT Good.
She immediately pointed out the MusclePharm Combat Crunch bars; they had White Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, and – wait for it – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I mean, you had me at “Chocolate Chip”, but the “Cookie Dough” bit totally sold me. I bought a whole box, and tore into it as soon as I got back to the car. Oh man, I was in heaven. HEAVEN, I tell you.
No word of a lie – this was THE best-tasting protein bar I’d ever eaten. Crunchy chocolate bits on top, soft chewy cookie dough in the center, and covered in a layer of chocolate to boot. I raced home to meet my wife, who was heading out the door to take our youngest to a birthday party.
“OmigodyouhavetotrythisbaritistheBOMB!!!!!11!”, I shouted as I held a bar out to her. A bit stunned at my entrance (no “How was your day, dear?”), she took the bar from me, a bit gratefully, since she hadn’t had anything to eat for supper yet.
I drove us three to the party, trying to gauge her reaction out of the corner of my eye. Did she like it? Was this going to be yet another “Oh, Christopher, what did you buy that for” moment? I held my breath as she chewed thoughtfully.
“Yeah – that is pretty good, isn’t it?” she said. “I like the chocolate bits on it”.
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Okay, the taste is great. But how does it stack up nutrition-wise?
Here’s the nutritional information for the bar:
…and for those who want to know just the important bits, this bar has 20g of protein from whey sources, only 210 calories, 12g of fiber, only 7g of fat and 5g of sugars.
It’s not quite the leanest protein bar out there, but this bar does a fantastic job of satisfying your sweet tooth while delivering low active carbs, lots of fiber and lots of protein. I find it incredibly filling, and I frequently use it as a mid-afternoon snack to span the gap from lunch to dinner.
Worth the Cost?
Later that evening, my wife asked how much the bars were. I showed her the receipt, and said “Less than $2 per bar – not bad for a box of 20 bars”. She looked at me in a funny way and said “Oh really? Check the box again, math whiz.” So I checked the box – there’s only 12 bars in a box! Whoops! So that brings the total to just under $3 a bar.
Admittedly, that’s the most I’ve EVER paid for a protein bar in my life. So I had to think – was it worth the money? And really, friends, I have to admit that it is.
I haven’t found anything else that even comes CLOSE in terms of flavor and satisfying my sweet tooth. We’ve hit on the idea of splitting the bars in half when we use them as a satisfying chocolate snack, but when I use them as part of my day’s nutrition, I take a whole bar with me.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line for Combat Crunch Protein bars is a simple one for me – fantastic taste, fantastic nutrition, slightly more expensive than other bars but well worth the cost.
What about you guys? Have you found a protein bar that outdistances everything else? Is it worth the price you pay? Do you have some great cheaper bars that you love? Tell me about it in the comments or write to me at chris (at) bodymoment.org – I love to hear from you guys!